JCK 5: Superslick Retail Apps

These mobile tools raise the bar on app design and functionality

Yes, sure, “there’s an app for that.” But not all apps are created equal. Compared to these five superbly designed mobile tools, most apps feel about as innovative as an Atari system.

Zappos
I bought a pair of Birkenstocks last week using Zappos’ slick app and was something close to stunned by how quickly the pages moved, how beautifully big the images were (there is no text or other distractions bordering the images), and how graceful the point of sale was; a couple of clicks and you’re done. 

Diapers.com
This high-functioning, straightforward app helps streamline the lives of parents everywhere by allowing users to call up past orders (e.g., a pack of Pampers) with the flick of a finger, then check out in one tap using stored credit card info. It also facilitates scheduled, automatic deliveries, so mom and dad don’t even have to think about picking up baby food, bubble bath, etc. 

Walgreens
This great-looking drugstore app is so packed with useful functions, it’s easily the best multitasker in app-ville. Refill prescriptions by scanning the bar code on your prescription; design photo collages that you can pick up within the hour; chat live with pharmacists; and set up automatic pill reminders. Oh, and shop the store’s selection. 

IKEA
Swedish fast-furniture company IKEA has a simple, pared-down shopping app that also includes a map for navigating its labrynthine (okay, confusing) store floor plans. The app also offers an augmented reality feature that allows you to put items from its catalog into photos of your home. 

Rue La La
Member shopping site Rue La La boasts an app featuring stripped-down, supersize product shots and a function that lets users sign up for alerts on future sales based on brands they like.

All app screenshots courtesy of companies listed

JCK Magazine Editor